As if Volkswagen were not in enough hot water, the VW emissions scandal
has expanded, and now encompasses a group of more expensive vehicles with
larger diesel engines. Audi and Porsche SUVs and luxury cars are included
in the new group of affected VW vehicles. The EPA recently accused VW
of installing “cheat” software on more than 482,000 diesel
cars with a two-liter diesel engine, and is now including at least 10,000
SUVs and luxury cars with a three-liter diesel engine. Because of the
added vehicles, the EPA has issued a second violation in addition to the
one received by Volkswagen in September.
Is Volkswagen Taking Responsibility?
Regarding this new round of affected vehicles, VW denies installing any
software in the diesel SUVs and luxury vehicles which would alter emissions
testing. Assistant Administrator for the EPA Enforcement and Compliance
Assurance office, Cynthia Giles, says there is clear evidence of the violations.
Some will remember Volkswagen made similar denials for over a year regarding
the first round of affected vehicles before they finally admitted to cheating.
How Many Vehicles are Affected?
There are 11 million affected diesel VW vehicles worldwide, and now nearly
500,000 in the United States. Vehicles included in the newest VW violation
notification include the three-liter version of the diesel 2014 Volkswagen
Touareg, the 2015 Porsche Cayenne and the 2016 Audi Q5, A6 Quattro, A7Quattro,
A8 and A8L. The additional 10,000 vehicles could cost Volkswagen more
than $375 million in penalties under the Clean Air Act in addition to
the estimated $18 billion from the initial round of violations on the
smaller Volkswagen diesels. So far, the manufacturers of other diesel
vehicles in the United States have not been implicated in any similar
type of software cheats.
The Problem with the VW Diesels
The EPA alleges the vehicles in question are fitted with a “defeat
device,” which is activated during federal emissions tests to manipulate
the results. At only one second following the completion of an emissions
test, the vehicles go back into their normal mode of operation, emitting
nitrogen oxides at extremely high levels—from ten to forty times
those allowed under U.S. standards. The newest batch of vehicles implicated
in the VW scandal are apparently emitting nitrogen oxides at the rate
of nine times that allowed under U.S. standards. Congress is apparently
outraged over the initial allegations as well as this latest round of
potentially involved vehicles, claiming this level of deception on the
part of an auto manufacturer erodes America’s trust.
Will VW Buy Back Affected Vehicles?
Although automakers are permitted to use some forms of software which optimize
engine performance, using software to sidestep emissions controls is prohibited.
Many now believe Volkswagen will be forced to compensate owners of diesel
vehicles equipped with the emissions-rigging software, possibly even having
to buy back the cars. In the short period of time since VW’s deception
became public, the average VW has lost $2,100 in value based on results
of resales at auto auctions. There have already been more than 350 lawsuits filed.
Getting the Legal Help You Need
The “fix” for the affected diesels could be a year or more
down the road, and many VW diesel owners simply don’t want to wait
that long, particularly since the cars can’t be driven legally under
California’s pollution standards. Owners of the VW diesels also
point to the fact that any type of “fix” will also greatly
reduce their mpg as well as the power of their vehicle, therefore the
vehicle they ended up with is not the one they purchased. While Volkswagen
is not commenting, it is likely customers with the affected vehicles will
be “paid off,” simply to avoid keeping the scandal in the
news, further damaging Volkswagen’s reputation. If you have been
affected by the Volkswagen diesel scandal, it could be very beneficial
for you to contact an experienced product liability attorney at the earliest
Class Action Lawyers
Golomb & Honik is currently seeking owners of diesel Volkswagen, Porsche
and Audi vehicles to serve as class action representatives in statewide
and nationwide class action lawsuits against Volkswagen. Schedule your
free consultation with a
Pennsylvania defective product lawyers at Golomb & Honik today. Call
1-215-278-4449 or fill out our confidential
The national product liability lawyers
at Golomb & Honik have successfully represented individuals in Pennsylvania,
New Jersey, and throughout the United States. Read other helpful blogs on the topic